Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mahi Dinner with Asian Salad

Well I have finally assembled enough cookware to be able to make a grown up dinner, as mac 'n cheese is getting a little old. I tried a new salad recipe which turned out to be really great. It got rave reveiws, and any salad that a guy can't stop talking about is pretty impressive, given that I know few guys that get too excited about salad. I made baked Mahi with a honey lime marinade that was really outstanding (my own recipe), and served with wild rice and green beans. I was really pleased with how everything turned out, and it was a great fancy dinner without being too heavy. Here's the recipes...

Romaine Salad with Mandarin Asian Dressing

  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Asian (toasted) sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 cup mandarins oranges
  • romaine lettuce (about 2 heads) in bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped red or yellow bell pepper
  • Salt and pepper

1. In a 6- to 8-inch frying pan, shake almonds often over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Pour from pan.
2. In a small bowl, mix vinegar, oil, sugar, soy sauce, ginger, and mustard.
3. Mix lettuce, oranges, bell pepper, and almonds in bowl. Mix gently, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Marinated Mahi

  • 2 Mahi Fillets
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • juice of one lime
  • grated rind of one lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon mesquite spice blend
  • salt and pepper

Mix honey, soy, lime, spices, and rind well. Marinate thawed Mahi for 45 minutes. Place is lightly greassed baking pan, drizzle extra marinade on top, and bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

More Yummy Salads

As we are well into summer and it is a zillion degrees out, more yummy salads are needed. This one is particularly refreshing because of the ginger in the dressing.

Iceberg Salad with Ginger Dressing

1/4 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped celery
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon toasted peanut oil
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon miso (soybean paste)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
9 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
1 1/2 cups cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
3/4 cup shredded carrot
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped onion
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
To prepare dressing, combine the first 12 ingredients in a blender, and process until smooth.
To prepare salad, combine lettuce and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss gently to coat.
Make the dressing up to two days ahead.Yield 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups salad)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer Salads

It's sometimes hard to keep making salads exciting. This one is particularly exciting though, it's spicy, flavorful, and a great change from the old lettuce and dressing gig.

Thai Noodle Salad with Sautéed Tofu

Tofu: 3/4 pound firm or extra firm water-packed tofu, drained
1 tablespoon peanut oil

3/4 pound uncooked rice vermicelli, or really any vermicelli like pasta will work fine.
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (you may want to taste it as you add, a little can go a long way depending on what brand you use!)
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce 2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
Remaining ingredients:
4 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
1 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

1. To prepare dressing, combine dressing ingredients in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. (easy enough)

2. To prepare tofu, cut tofu into 3/4-inch cubes and drain for an hour or more. Combine tofu and 2 tablespoons of dressing in a zip-top plastic bag. Seal and marinate at room temperature 2 hours, turning bag occasionally.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan, swirling to coat; heat 30 seconds. Remove tofu from bag; discard marinade. Add tofu to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until crisp, carefully turning to brown all sides. Remove from heat.
4. Prepare noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain well. Set noodles aside.

5. Combine vermicelli, lettuce, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing; toss well to combine. Top with tofu.
Yield 6 servings (serving size: about 2 cups)

Tofu and Toddlers

Having a two year old, keeping cooking exciting can be a challenge. Being vegetarian, I want to introduce my son to as many flavors and varieties of foods as I can. To make things worse, I am temporarily in Alabama, cooking for people who are a bit suspicious of vegetarians. So far I have been able to get my parents to eat some stir fries with tofu, and actually like them.

So here begins my varied experiments with some picky eaters.

I tried this eggplant, basil and tofu dish and loved it. Mom loved it. My son liked the rice and bland uncooked tofu.

Here it is...taken from

Time: 25 minutes.
Serves 4
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 package (18 oz.) firm tofu, drained, cut into 1 1/2- by 2-in. chunks
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound eggplant, cut into 1- by 3-in. strips
1 small red or green bell pepper, cut into 1-in. pieces
1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1. Heat oil in a large nonstick frying pan over high heat, add tofu, and gently cook, turning tofu occasionally, until browned slightly, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer tofu to a plate.
2. Cook garlic, eggplant, and bell pepper in pan until softened, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Add soy sauce, sugar, and oyster sauce and cook until heated through, another 2 minutes. Return tofu to pan and gently stir to coat. Remove from heat and stir in basil leaves. Serve over rice.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
Nutritional Information
263 (55% from fat)
16g (sat 2.4)